A Norfolk theatre company renowned for taking on challenging work and giving it an immersive twist has announced details of its next production.
And it is giving people a rare chance to glimpse the planning process for Frankenstein as part of a season of work aimed at highlighting the issues around men’s mental health.
Norwich-based MoCo Theatre Company will be holding a workshop and open rehearsal of its version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at Norwich Theatre Royal’s Stage Two on Wednesday January 31 at 7.30pm as part of the theatre’s Creative Matters season.
Joe Darbyshire, a member of MoCo who will play Victor Frankenstein, said: “We will talk a bit about what we intend to do with the play, give an insight into the set as the production will be an installation as that is what we normally do, and the director Miche Montague will also talk about her vision for it.
“More than anything, it will be a way of raising mental health issues as that will be a key theme of the piece.
“We will be looking intently at Victor’s mental health after what he does and how he emotionally responds to creating new life. We are also looking at how his emotions can be violent and extreme. We hope the open rehearsal will give the audience the opportunity to tell us how far we can push this.”
Fellow cast member Rohan Gotobed said the idea is to get feedback from people on how to bring these themes to the fore and make it authentic. He explained: “We want people to give us their own ideas and views. We will perform a couple of scenes that we have already started work on. It is really useful at the start of the creative process to show people what we can do but it is also really important to us to get advice, feedback and ideas.”
It is the latest chapter for the company which was first formed off the back of a successful run of The History Boys at Norwich’s Sewell Barn Theatre in 2016 and then performed a critically-acclaimed production of A Clockwork Orange at The Old Shoe Factory in the city.
Its version of Frankenstein aims to focus on the isolation and mental health issues of some of the characters which will link in with the Creative Matters season, which aims to allow creative exploration and discussion of issues in a safe space. The season was triggered by figures which showed high levels of mental health issues among men in Norfolk and an accompanying initiative by both Norfolk Public Health and the county council to provide help and support.
MoCo member Rohan said: “It will also be a really exciting experience you can’t do anywhere else. To have an input into a show and then see it is a very interesting thing to do. I have always thought about how exciting it would be to be in a rehearsal room and see something come to fruition. Even if you don’t work in theatre or have a direct experience, you can still come along. It will be both entertaining and eye-opening.”
The Frankenstein workshop and open rehearsal take place here on 31 January. Buy tickets now at Norwich Theatre Royal.